Details for Public Notice July 12, 20

Updated

Public Notice July 12, 2016 Special Joint City Council and Planning Commission Minutes 6:00 P.M. A special joint meeting of the City Council and Planning Commission of the City of International Falls, Minnesota was held in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building on the 12th day of July, 2016 at the hour of 6:00 P.M. Honorable Mayor Anderson called the City Council and Chairman Franzen called the Planning Commission meetings to order. COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT: Councilors Briggs, Droba, Jaksa, Kalar, and Mayor Anderson MEMBERS ABSENT: None. PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Commissioners Ehrman, Soboleski, Gouin, Chase, Kostiuk, Nevanen, and Chairman Franzen. MEMBERS ABSENT: Pete Schultz and Brian Youso OATH OF OFFICE: City Administrator Anderson administered the Oath of Office to new appointee Willie Kostiuk and welcomed him to his service on the Planning Commission. MOTION by Commissioner Kostiuk to approve the June 28, 2016 Planning Commission minutes as presented. Motion seconded by Commissioner Chase and carried unanimously. Mayor Anderson introduced the proposed ordinance to allow chickens within City limits for discussion. Chairman Franzen provided some brief background information from the Planning Commission discussion about whether an agricultural zoning district should be established and asked why this has come up for Planning Commission discussion. Mayor Anderson indicated the ordinance was drafted from one in the City of Duluth and that many citizens now have chickens and there have not been complaints to his knowledge. Zoning Administrator Kelly Meyers pointed out that the Code of Ordinances, Chapter 11, stated that one permitted use in the R-1A district was agricultural uses except "livestock." In Chapter 10, Section 10-12, Animals and Fowl, the ordinance reads in part "It is unlawful for any person to keep or harbor any animal, not in transit, except (1) farm animals kept in that portion of the city zoned for agricultural purposes . . ." Chickens are included in the definition of farm animals, but we do not have an agricultural zoning district per se. Mr. Meyers also pointed out that we have no Animal Control Officer for enforcement in the City. Administrator Anderson compared the geographic size of Duluth with International Falls, which is much smaller in area. Commissioner Chase stated that the comprehensive planning process is proposed to happen soon and we could wait to consider this ordinance as part of that planning process. Councilor Briggs stated that there is enough blight and issues with dogs and cats now, we should not add chickens and the potential problems with odors and clean-up to the existing blight problems. Lisa Norstad was present and stated she has raised three chickens for egg production. She said her coop is small and kept clean and her chickens are much quieter than most of the dogs in the neighborhood. She provided copies of ordinances from urban cities such as Minneapolis and St. Paul dealing with farm to table foods. Discussion ensued about having evidence to review, rather than unsupported fears; licensure as a means of regulation; establishing agricultural zoning districts; enforcement options; and the upcoming comprehensive planning process. MOTION by Councilor Jaksa to not enforce the existing ordinance language for chickens and to further consider the proposed ordinance allowing chickens within City limits as part of the upcoming comprehensive planning process. Motion seconded by Mayor Anderson. Councilor Droba stated he does not care if we have chickens here, but he cannot approve this motion to not enforce the law. MOTION FAILS 2 to 3 with Councilor Jaksa and Mayor Anderson voting "yea" and Councilors Briggs, Kalar, and Droba voting "nay." Mayor Anderson introduced this agenda item and explained the proposed ordinance will allow deer hunting by bow and arrow in designated hunting areas (DHA) subject to meeting certain criteria. The Planning Commission was involved to help set up the DHAs. Councilor Jaksa indicated she had no opposition, but that it would depend on the DHAs and that bow and arrow hunting can be lethal. Commissioner Soboleski stated that this ordinance will eliminate deer pestering people and that if hunting is allowed outside the City, then deer will come into the City. Commissioner Kostiuk stated that he loves to hunt, but he was very concerned about safety. Commissioner Gouin wanted to address safety and said the deer were a safety problem in that they chased his wife and daughter down the neighborhood street and circled the house. He said they congregate in the City during the hunting season. Darren Wallen said the deer attract ticks and wolves and that the bow hunters need to be well educated. The deer can also be a hazard to cars. Discussion followed noting that the deer were plentiful in the City and they ate apple trees, gardens, bird seed, and flowers. People feeding the animals also attract some of the deer. The ordinance requires property owner permission to hunt, deer hunters need to be licensed and obtain a permit from the City, and hunting must be at least 400 ft. from structures. MOTION by Councilor Droba to start the process to adopt the ordinance to allow deer hunting in the City limits subject to 1) excluding the proposed DHA shown adjacent and east of the Good Samaritan Home, and 2) insert in Section 1, (e) (3) that a notice must be posted by the hunter that they are hunting in the respective DHA (five DHAs remaining). Motion seconded by Councilor Briggs. The first reading will be July 18th for the ordinance to be drafted by the City Attorney. The City Council also requested a more detailed map of each of the five DHAs with more definition of the boundaries. Motion carried 3 to 2 with Mayor Anderson and Councilors Briggs and Droba voting "yea" and Councilors Jaksa and Kalar voting "nay." Mayor Anderson indicated preparation of an update to the 1966 Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Regulations was included in the 2016 budget and an RFP was being prepared to solicit consultants for this work in 2016/2017. Commissioner Gouin stated the Planning Commission could review examples from other communities and prepare the documents to save the City money. The consultant could be used on an as-needed basis and paid an hourly fee. The City Council was concerned about the extra burdens on staff, but appreciated the team spirit. Commissioner Nevanen emphasized that we need to create documents that are enforceable. Mayor Anderson noted that a housing assessment will be part of this work. Administrator Anderson stated that the approved scope of work will dictate consultant costs to some extent. When the RFP is drafted, it will be forwarded for the Planning Commission to review so they may forward recommendations before action is taken by the City Council. ADJOURNMENT Mayor Anderson and Chairman Franzen adjourned the joint meeting at 7:56 P.M. Robert W. Anderson, Mayor ATTEST: Kenneth R. Anderson, City Administrator The Journal July 27th, 2016

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